5 Tips to Promote Work-Life Balance for Small Business Owners

5 Tips to Promote Work-Life Balance for Small Business Owners

Many small business owners struggle to strike a balance between work and life. Friends, family, personal downtime and in some cases health can feel squeezed by the demands of their business. Here are 5 useful tips designed to promote work-life balance for small business owners.

1. Create a 24/7 Schedule

Many small business owners are very skilled at scheduling their time between business hours; however, not so much after 5pm. Owning your own business consumes a 24/7 cycle, so why not accept that and schedule accordingly? Building and maintaining flexibility in your schedule will make you more aware of how your time is being spent.

For instance, during a spike at work, shift your personal agenda to another time slot rather than simply canceling it. This way your personal life won’t get lost, and you will be one step closer to achieving that balance.

2. Automate as Many Administrative Tasks as you Can

Back office administrative tasks such as accounting, invoicing and paying bills are notorious time suckers – especially if you do them all manually. Leverage technology to recoup some of this time for yourself.

With Wave Accounting – a free accounting app – you can connect your small business bank and credit card accounts to the software and download your daily financial transactions automatically, effectively bypassing manual entry and spreadsheets altogether.

You can also create and send invoices from within Wave. Small business owners with employees can also automate their payroll with Wave Payroll and save hours of manual payroll calculation time.

3. Devise Creative Ways to Sleep, Eat and Exercise

As a small business owner, when you upset the work-life balance and harm your health, you directly threaten your livelihood. The body and mind of a small business owner must remain healthy, as illness or burnout can eat your savings in a flash. Cultivate creative methods to take care of yourself. How, you might ask?

  • Exercise early in morning, during your lunch hour, or negotiate a service exchange with a personal trainer who can come to your home or office.
  • Schedule 15 to 20 minute power naps in your office every afternoon – if you keep getting interrupted in your office, relocate to your car.
  • Invest in an onsite juicer, or negotiate a service exchange with a local restaurant to have healthy meals delivered to your office.

4. Schedule Offline Time

Even though a small business owner’s schedule can be 24/7, this does not mean that you need to be available for your customers 24/7. Offline time is essential to recharge your batteries and generate new ideas. Spend two hours away from your phone walking in the woods or relaxing at a spa. Finding these moments and recognizing them goes a long way toward improving your mental and emotional health and achieving balance.

5. Focus on Quality over Quantity

Rather than focusing on how little time you have, focus on making the time you do have memorable. Instead of going weeks without seeing your friends, schedule an hour a week for a late game of hockey. Drive your kids to soccer or better yet, coach their team. Spend the same amount of time in a much deeper capacity.

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  • shannon says:

    Great tips! I feel like these tips can help everyone, even normal 9-5’ers. Thanks!

  • Martin says:

    Wow, this is best blog post yet!

  • Zhenya says:

    I found taking a full day every week for uninterrupted busy work to be very useful for clearing the backlog. Interruptions = context switching, a huge source of inefficiency.

    Schedule time for daydreaming and thinking, and avoid doing so during other activities. The imagination can keep those new ideas coming, but I found it too easy to fail at the task at hand when too excited about something else.

    I also agree with the 24/7 schedule advice. I was surprised to learn that having a plan for my free time made me more fulfilled.

    Lastly, “Everything in moderation, especially moderation” – Oscar Wilde.

  • Sabrina says:

    Great blog! I find it extremely important to make time for your loved ones, the same as you would for your business. Life is all about relationships; without family and friends, what is the point of being a successful business owner?

  • Greg Ranger says:

    Good stuff. Point #3 is key. Exercise helps you relax and keep your mind focused.

  • Derrick says:

    Worth the read I enjoy insight into areas which allow me to expand my mind (and life apparently).

    Thank you,

  • Jana says:

    Well said. In the midst of our super fast techno-lifestyles these days we tend to forget those little but VERY important parts of our lives like driving your kid to soccer (as you mentioned) or even giving quality time to our spouses! Mobile gadgets and social media are not likely to be the same as sitting down and having a round of drinks with friends.
    So again, well said.
    Jana Michaels

  • Richard says:

    Great information, very clear and concise! I read it through twice to try sand absorb as much as I could for future reference.